US 7487940 B2
Disclosed is a stand for a laptop computer or other data display device, wherein the display portion, or monitor, projects upwardly from the data display container. The user can adjust the position of the portable data display container so as to position the top edge of the monitor at the same height as the user's eyes. This position permits the user to maintain better posture when using the data display device. Additionally, the stand of the present invention may provide a rack for restraining cables attached to the data display device. The stand may also have a swivel so that the monitor can be viewed from whatever angle is convenient for the user. Desirably, the stand also includes a document holder and provides an anchor for a security cable.
1. A data display device stand comprising:
a. a base;
b. a turntable on which said base is rotatably mounted;
c. a pivoting member attached to said base;
d. a data display container secured to said pivoting member;
e. an adjustable support member pivotally attached at a first end to said base and pivotally attached at a second end to said data display container;
f. a document support slidably positioned between said pivoting member and said data display container; and
g. a cable rack mounted on the rear outside of said data display.
2. The data display device stand of
3. The data display device stand of
4. The data display device stand of
5. The data display device stand of
6. The data display device stand of
7. The data display device stand of
8. The data display stand of
9. The data display device stand of
10. The data display device stand of
11. The data display device stand of
12. data display device stand comprising:
a. a base;
b. a turntable on which said base is rotatably mounted;
c. a pivot member adapted to hold a portable data display device attached to said base;
d. a document support slidably attached to said data display stand;
e. an adjustable support member pivotally attached at one end to said base and pivotally attached at a second end to said data display container, wherein said support member has a range of vertical movement of at least three inches.
13. The data display device stand of
14. The data display device stand of
15. The data display device stand of
16. A laptop computer support stand comprising:
a. a base having dimensions sufficient to impart stability to said device, wherein said base is rotatably mounted on a turntable;
b. an upwardly projecting arm hingedly connected to said base;
c. a data display container secured to said upwardly projecting arm;
d. an adjustable support member, wherein said adjustable support member is pivotally attached at one end to said base and pivotally attached at a second end to said data display container; and
e. a document support slidably attached to said support stand.
17. The stand of
18. The stand of
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/478,445, filed Jun. 13, 2003.
The present invention relates to laptop computers and other portable devices that may include both a display and a data input function. More particularly, the invention relates to a stand for such devices.
The torrent of technological innovation over the last 15 years has done little to change the way most people usually interact with their personal computers, which is generally by sitting in front of a keyboard, mouse and monitor.
The problem with the traditional method for a human interacting with their personal computer is that the human body is not suited to sitting for hours at a time, particularly while typing, pointing, clicking, and staring at an illuminated screen. This combination is further frustrated in that it can lead to muscle strain, fatigue and stress. Still, experts in ergonomics say there are several easy and effective ways in which computer users can improve their physical comfort, fight fatigue, and reduce the risk of injuries from repetitive motions.
Laptop computers are popular alternatives to desktop computers. However, the more that laptop computers are made to do the job of desktop computers, the more that their virtues, such as a small form factor and integrated keyboard and display, become liabilities. For example, the user must stare down at the display of the laptop computer while using the keyboard. This becomes fatiguing after more than just casual use.
Posture is one area in which minor adjustments can quickly yield benefits. Even at home, but especially in a more stressful environment like an office, users may force their bodies into rigid positions that result in fatigue, muscle strain, and, potentially, injury.
Maintaining what experts call optimal ergonomic positioning can increase energy levels and improve overall comfort, although it may take a few weeks before the results are noticeable. Good posture keeps the spine in what health professionals call the neutral position. Achieving a neutral position while seated upright in a chair with good lumbar support entails lifting the rib cage away from the hips, tucking in the belly, pulling the shoulders back, centering the weight of the head atop the spine and maintaining the lower back in a gentle C-shaped curve. Sustaining this position can help reduce muscle strain and relieve pressure on the lower back.
Beyond spinal posture, optimal ergonomic positioning requires tailoring the work area to fit the user's needs. Among things necessary to accomplish that is to position the monitor's top edge at eye level. This monitor position reduces muscle strain caused by the weight of your head leaning too far forward or backward.
Laptop users in particular should pay attention to screen height. Often the laptop screen is too low in relation to the user's eyes or the screen itself is very small, prompting the user to hunch forward to see text and images more clearly. A couple of hours in that position can significantly strain the muscles at the back of the neck and throughout the upper body.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,208,508, to Ruch et al., discloses a docking station that supports a notebook computer docked thereto. The '508 patent discloses a type of docking station that provides electrical conductivity through the docking station itself. The docking station is a wedge-like arrangement. Such an arrangement both takes up significant space on a user's desktop, and yet, for most users and most data display devices, does not elevate the laptop display sufficiently so that the top of the display is at the user's eye-level. Moreover, such a device does not adjust to the needs of specific users.
Sanyo, as shown in
The Quicklook laptop computer stand, see
Another example of a laptop stand is the Podium CoolPad, shown in
Yet another solution has been to place the laptop on a stand that holds it high and at an angle, and attaching an external keyboard and mouse. For instance, the laptop stands sold by iCurve (www.griffintechnology.com), as illustrated in
The only device on the market that can raise a data display device of various sizes to the eye level of a variety of users is the device sold by Humanscale (www.humanscale.com) and is shown in
Thus, it would be advantageous to provide a stand for a laptop computer that both supports the laptop computer in a minimal amount of desktop space, while at the same time elevates the laptop computer to a user's eye-level, thereby mitigating the affects of fatigue that are otherwise caused by staring down at the screen of a laptop. It is further desired that such a stand is adjustable to accommodate a range of users.
The invention provides a laptop computer stand that elevates the laptop display such that the display is at a user's eye-level, while at the same time minimizing the amount of desktop space occupied by the laptop computer. The invention provides a stand that holds the laptop computer in an unfolded position such that the laptop's display is elevated to eye-level and facing forward. The keyboard and track-pad remain exposed but are most likely not used, an external keyboard and mouse being used instead. This provides the user with the choice of any input device, such as an ergonomic keyboard. Further, this allows the user to position the keyboard away from the display, thereby providing a less fatiguing display-keyboard configuration.
The invention is based upon the recognition that many people use laptop computers on a desktop when in the office, as well as for their intended purpose, i.e. on a laptop. Most people who use laptop computers assume an uncomfortable, crouched position when using the laptop on a desktop. Accordingly, a principal benefit of the claimed invention is to elevate the screen of the laptop to a more comfortable level, i.e. eye-level, while at the same time separating the display from the keyboard, thereby allowing the user to position both in a most comfortable configuration.
In another embodiment of the invention, a data display device is positioned for use. For instance, using the present invention, a multi-media device can be positioned such that the display is much better configured to serve as a monitor for displaying video or other multi-media content. Data display devices that could be supported include, in addition to laptop computers, DVD players and e-book readers.
In a particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention that is further ergonomically beneficial, the monitor can be swiveled among several positions.
In yet further embodiments of the present invention, cable management, document support, and an anchor for a laptop computer security cable are provided.
In particular, the presently preferred embodiment of the invention provides a modular laptop stand that is inexpensive to produce and variously adjustable.
In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for enhancing cooling of a laptop comprising elevating a laptop with the laptop stand of the present invention. Such aspect is particularly advantageous in that has the added benefit of extending the laptop's useful life.
The present invention provides a stand that is particularly suited for elevating a portable data display device. Preferably, the portable data display device is laptop or notebook computer, portable DVD player, or e-book reader. In particular, the present invention is directed to a laptop computer support stand that elevates the laptop display such that the display is at a user's eye-level. The stand of the present invention is further useful for minimizing the amount of desktop space occupied by the laptop computer, and also provides the user with the ability to arrange the orientation of the display and the keyboard (or other data entry device) in a most comfortable configuration.
The invention comprises a stand that holds the laptop computer in an unfolded position such that the display panel is facing forward and is elevated. Preferably, the display panel is elevated to eye-level or other ergonomically desirable position. The keyboard and track-pad remain exposed; however, it is generally envisioned that they remain unused, an external keyboard and mouse being used instead. The invention takes advantage of the recognition that many people use laptop computers on a desktop when in the office, as well as for their intended purpose, i.e. on the lap top. Most laptop computer users assume an uncomfortable crouched position when using the laptop on a desktop. Accordingly, a principal benefit of the claimed invention is to elevate the screen of the laptop to a more comfortable level (i.e. eye-level).
A further benefit of the invention is that the positioning of the computer, particularly in an elevated position, facilitates cooling of the laptop by enhancing air circulation about the laptop's case. Additionally, the cooling can be further encouraged through the choice of material for use in making the stand. For example, the stand can be made of a heat conductive material that conducts heat away from the laptop computer.
In another embodiment of the invention, the stand can be used with a multi-media device such that the monitor of the multi-media device is better positioned for viewing, preferably encouraging an ergonomically preferred posture. In a particular embodiment, the multi-media device is a portable DVD player.
The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.
A particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention is provided in
According to a particularly preferred embodiment, support 45 is slide brake that employs a torsion spring as a locking means. The slide brake is further comprised of an outer tube, an inner tube, and a lever. The torsion spring is situated near the opening of the outer tube, and the inner tube runs through the spring and into the outer tube. In a resting state, the spring fits tightly around the inner tube, holding it in position. When the lever is actuated, the inner diameter of the spring is increased and the inner tube is released for sliding into and out of the outer tube. While the lever is actuated, data display base container 25 can be manually adjusted up or down. Once the desired height is reached, the lever can be released, and the spring tightens around the inner tube, holding the inner tube in position and providing support for data display base container 25.
Also shown in
Container 25 can be mounted to the inner surface of upwardly projecting arm 35 by any conventional means, such as screws, rivets, nuts and bolts, adhesive material, and the like, as would be obvious to one of skill in the art. Container 25, as shown in
Base 17 is preferentially shaped to impart balance and stability to the overall design of stand 10. Such balance is necessary to avoid tipping of the stand wherein the data display device supported therein is protected from falling out of stand 10 and possibly being damaged. According to the present embodiment, base 17 is wider at the back portion and tapers slightly toward the front portion of base 17. Other conformations of base 17 providing similar balance and support are also envisioned by the present invention. In order to avoid tipping of stand 10, the present invention also envisions embodiments wherein base 17, or an additional component attached thereto, is weighted. When such weighting is used, it is preferred that stand 10 have an overall mass sufficient to prevent accidental movement. Preferably, stand 10 has a mass of up to about 20 pounds, more preferably up to about 10 pounds, and most preferably, between about 5 and 10 pounds. According to the preferred embodiment, the desired levels of balance and stability are achieved through shape and design of the component parts of stand 10.
According to the preferred embodiment of
While avoidance of side-to-side tipping is of importance, the present invention is further designed to avoid frontward or backward tipping. Accordingly, base 17 is preferably of a sufficient depth, measured from front to back, to substantially prevent tipping. To achieve such stability and balance, base 17 is preferably of a length that is greater than or equal to the height of upwardly projecting arm 35. In a most preferred embodiment, base 17 has a length that is roughly equal to the height of upwardly projecting arm 35. Such measurements provide balance and stability that substantially prevents backward tipping of stand 10. Additionally, to avoid frontward tipping, support 45 has a limited extension length such that upwardly projecting arm 35 is substantially prevented from adjusting upward and forward past a position that is essentially perpendicular to the support surface upon which stand 10 is placed. In the preferred embodiment, the upward and forward movement of upwardly projecting arm 35 is limited such that the angle formed between upwardly projecting arm 35 and base 17 is between 45° and 90°, preferentially between 60° and 75°.
Also shown in
A front perspective view of second preferred embodiment of the present invention is provided in
According to the second preferred embodiment,
It is also preferred that stand 10 is able to be restrained in its extreme lower position, its extreme upper position, and substantially any position intermediate between the lower and upper extreme positions. Such restraint is possible through the use of either support mechanism as shown in the preferred embodiments provided herein.
Also seen in this view is a plurality of groves 38 in upwardly projecting arm 35. These groves 38 are a preferred component of all embodiments of the present invention in that grooves 38 impart flexibility to upwardly projecting arm 35 so as to give the arm a hinge like character. Accordingly, upwardly projecting arm 35 is pivotally attached to base 17. Thus, upwardly projecting arm 35, through is innate structure (i.e. the presence of grooves 38) acts not only as a support for the attachment of container 25, but also as a hinge facilitating the raising and lowering of container 25 with support 45, wherein upwardly projecting arm 35 pivots at the area of grooves 38.
Given the dual characteristic of upwardly projecting arm 35 as a support mechanism and as a hinge mechanism, it is desirable for upwardly projecting arm 35 to be both strong and flexible. Such can be accomplished through the use of an appropriate material for manufacture and through the incorporation of grooves 38. Accordingly, upwardly projecting arm 35 can be made of plastic-type materials, such as polypropylene, or similar materials. Particularly preferred is translucent polypropylene. The number and depth of grooves 38 should be sufficient to allow for flexing of upwardly projecting arm 35 at the area defined by grooves 38. The number of grooves 38 is preferably 2 to 10, more preferably 3 to 8, most preferably 4 to 6.
With the exception of upwardly projecting arm 35, as described above, it is preferred that the remaining components of stand 10 (i.e. turntable 15, base 17, container 25, and cable rack 70) be formed from sheet metal. Other materials having similar strength, durability, and physical properties could also be used. For example, the remaining components could be formed from a hardened plastic.
As discussed above, the particular structure depicted herein is shown for purposes of example only. While the laptop stand is made from solid materials, such as wood, plastic, or metal, it can just as readily be made from tubular materials, rods, grills, etc.